Floating facilities to house foreign workers
Two floating accommodation facilities in a restricted area at Tanjong Pagar Terminal will house healthy foreign workers from this week.
Each can take a few hundred people and be organised to achieve safe distancing, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wansaid after a visit to one of them yesterday.
Meals can be prepared off-site and delivered to the cabins to minimise inter-mingling, he added in a Facebook post.
He said coronavirus clusters in foreign worker dormitories are a grave concern, and efforts are being made to reduce the density within each dormitory.
"In China, transmission within families has been shown to be a major driver. Each dorm is practically a huge family unit, hence our concern," said Mr Khaw, who is also Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure.
While building new dormitories will take time, making use of such floating accommodation facilities - typically used by those in offshore and marine industries - was another solution, he said.
Workers can have fresh air at the open air deck to exercise an hour a day, added Mr Khaw in his post. There is also a medical facility that can attend to workers who are ill.
They have to go through health checks, including swab tests for Covid-19, before boarding the facility. They also have to follow public health measures such as minimising interaction with other occupants.
Last Thursday, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling the outbreak, said during a press conference that the number of workers in each dormitory needs to be reduced so that effective public health measures can be put in place.
Foreign worker dormitories have been a growing source of concern in the outbreak. More than 10 have been found to be clusters so far. - THE STRAITS TIMES